Bill by Rep. McEntire passes house; ensures early college registration for military and dependents

The state House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill from 19th District Rep. Joel McEntire on Wednesday that would require higher education institutions to provide early course registration for eligible military members and dependents.

McEntire, who has served in the military for 13 years, said House Bill 2004 would benefit those who have served and sacrificed for their country.

“Being in the military is not easy. You never know when you are going to have to pick up and go,” said McEntire, R-Cathlamet. “This gives those who serve and sacrifice for their country some assistance in making sure they are able to enroll in the classes they need. Military orders don’t coincide with class registration.”

The bill would allow early course registration for students who are eligible veterans, National Guard members, active duty military members, and their spouses, domestic partners, and dependents.

The policy was in state law, but expired in 2022. McEntire’s bill would make it permanent.

“The previous policy worked well. We want to lock it into statute and this would also expand it to dependents. This would help thousands of students, including disabled veterans, and allow them to register early and have time to request necessary accommodations,” said McEntire.

The bill now goes to the Senate for further consideration.

The legislative session is scheduled to adjourn on March 7.